We have obstacles to overcome each day. How we deal with obstacles and adversity defines our lives.
Some obstacles are more serious than others. You might crave potato chips, only to realize that the bag is empty. This is a minor obstacle and the solution is obvious. Bigger obstacles require an effective approach and a high level of perseverance.
Use these strategies to overcome any obstacle or adversity:
1. Take responsibility. Blaming the circumstances or others is disempowering. If you believe the cause for the failure is outside yourself, there’s nothing you can do to rectify the situation. Take responsibility for the current situation and you maintain your power to change things for the better.
2. Control your negative thoughts. Negative thoughts are limiting. It’s very easy go down a dark mental path. There are no answers to be found there. Asking yourself, “Why do I always fail?” won’t provide useful information. You’ll only succeed in making yourself stressed, miserable, and less effective.
3. Focus on solutions. Instead of beating yourself up, seek a solution. Unsuccessful people focus on problems rather than solutions. Be different. Keep your negative thoughts to a minimum and redirect your attention to finding a simple, elegant solution.
* It’s easier to find something if you’re looking for it. Focusing on problems only makes them appear more challenging.
4. View adversity as a test. Imagine that the universe is testing your commitment and cleverness. Can you stay positive, find a solution, and make it work? Adversity is a challenge of your skills.
* Get excited and face the challenge head on. You can do it.
5. Exercise. Adversity brings stress, and few activities deal with stress better than exercise. Hitting the weights or running for few miles can relieve your stress and provide a new perspective.
* The type of exercise doesn’t matter, as long as it lasts at least 30 minutes and you’re breathing heavily by the end.
6. Relax. There are few advantageous to being anxious. Prolonged anxiety will eventually lead to illness. The best solutions are likely to present themselves when you’re calm and relaxed.
7. Focus on what you can control. What’s the point in worrying about things that are out of your control? Keep your attention on the things you can control. Ask yourself what you can change and then get busy changing it.
8. Take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. Eating poorly, lying around all day, and staying up all night only make you less capable. Be at your best, regardless of the setback. Maintain your grooming and your social life.
* The world is still turning. Be a part of it.
9. Revisit your goals. Remind yourself of what you’re trying to achieve. Visualize the endpoint and remember how great you’re going to feel when it happens. If you’re bogged down in the present, remind yourself of your ideal endpoint.
10. Keep going. Have the courage to continue pressing forward. Winning is only impossible if you quit. You can always find a solution. The key is to keep moving forward.
Life is always throwing up roadblocks at inopportune times. The choice is either to wither away in misery or to use adversity as challenge to take your life to the next level. Adversity is a test of your perseverance and problem-solving abilities.
Challenges in life are universal. No one is immune. Dealing with adversity skillfully separates those that are successful from those that are not. Make your choice.